I’ll never forget it. I was in elementary school, maybe third, maybe fourth grade, and my class had just arrived in the cafeteria. I remember being hungry. So hungry that my stomach hurt and I felt like I was going to vomit. And then I did. I vomited right there on the floor of the cafeteria. I was mortified. The kind of mortification that only comes from knowing you just allowed a typically un-witnessed (except maybe by your parents) bodily function to occur in a crowded public place while in the presence of not only your classmates, but most likely your current crush as well. I was so mortified, in fact, that the details of that moment are permanently etched in my memory.
I thought my day today was pretty rough, not for any particular reason, just the typical last-day-of-art-class routines, couldn’t-sleep-the-night-before pregnancy woes, and dealing with students who’d rather be outside in a pool than stuck in a stuffy classroom kind of day. At least I thought my day was pretty rough, until this afternoon that is, when a student (not mine. At least not at the time.) experienced a case of vicious, exploding diarrhea. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY. And it took a good hour for the custodial staff to get the hallway and the bathroom cleaned up. And I think it took just as long to coax the (freshly clothed) student to come out of the bathroom.
I mean, just imagine. Here we are in the last full week of school and some poor, unfortunate student of an undetermined grade level (at least to me) experiences an episode of exploding diarrhea in the 6th grade hallway, not more than ten feet from the bathroom. Could life be any more mortifying at that point? Thankfully for the student the sixth graders were elsewhere at the time, and the hallway was mostly clear of witnesses (aside from a reading teacher and three students testing in the pod who, despite the fact that they were in clear line of sight, saw nothing). But still. I hope for the students’ sake word doesn’t get out about it. Or at least if it does, he survives the last week of school and can hide away over the summer until the air is cleared, so-to-speak.
Bless the custodian who had to spend the good part of an hour cleaning that mess up. I swear, the custodial staff in our schools don’t get nearly as much credit as they should. If you haven’t thanked your custodial staff yet for the fabulous job they do during the school year, do it now. The messes they have to clean up would make most of us vomit (seriously guys, the smell in that hallway was gruesome).
Bless the sixth grade teacher who entered the boys’ bathroom to check on the student and try to coax him out. Of course, being the only male teacher in that wing of the school, he probably didn’t have much of a choice, but that couldn’t have been easy either.
And did I mention that the hallway the “accident” occurred in was also the hallway the art rooms are located in? So not only were the teachers in the pod re-routed, but so were three art classes. The students were definitely better sports about it than I was. There’s nothing worse than being 30 weeks pregnant and having to walk the entire length of the school (twice) and hike two sets of stairs (twice) to make a trip to the faculty bathroom that should have only required walking half the length of the school (twice) with no stairs.
Of course, the boy hiding away in the student bathroom might disagree with me on that one.